Chernobyl’s Control Room Is Now Open to Tourists

Visitors can now visit the control room at Chernobyl Reactor 4, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. However, according to recent news reports, the radioactivity in the control room is still high, and people must wear protective equipment when indoors.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky declared Chernobyl a formal tourist attraction in June. This huge dome contains radioactive material. But Chernobyl has been a tourist attraction for a long time-part of it has been open to the public for almost a decade. According to a previous “Life Science” report, in May, Chernobyl’s bookings increased by about 30% following the release of the popular HBO series of the same name.

However, with the exception of a few researchers and cleanup workers, Reactor 4 remains closed to the majority of the public. Now Chernobyl’s tour company has confirmed that the control room is open to brave souls who want to be near the scene of the disaster.

The damage caused by the explosion was severe. The control room was where the reactor ran and where many decisions were made on the day the reactor exploded. According to the Telegraph, it was located under the new containment arch, but outside the original sarcophagus that contained radiation from the reactor itself.

According to the German news agency Ruptly, the radiation in the room was 40,000 times higher than normal. Anyone wishing to visit the site must wear protective clothing, helmets and masks and limit access to 5 minutes. Thereafter, according to CNN regulations, visitors were required to perform two radiological tests to measure the amount of radiation they received.

This is typical of most travel in Chernobyl. According to previous Life Science reports, people had to pass radiation checkpoints at the beginning, middle, and end of a day trip. Tourists are not allowed to wander alone; they must accompany the tour group due to persistent radiation problems.

CNN said other parts of Chernobyl are still banned, including the “machine cemetery” in the village of Rosoka, where contaminated machines during Chernobyl’s cleanup were abandoned. Exposure to large amounts of radiation can cause tissue damage and acute disease, and increase the risk of cancer. However, Ukrainian officials believe that as long as the regulations are followed, they can be opened to tourists.